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And they finally tie the knot

And they finally tie the knot
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First Published: Mon, Apr 23 2007. 08 20 PM IST

Updated: Mon, Apr 23 2007. 08 20 PM IST
By Agencies
Bollywood’s hottest couple have had little time to recoup from their “wedding of the century.”A day after former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai wed India’s most eligible bachelor Abhishek Bachchan in a flamboyant, fairytale affair, the newlyweds faced another full day Saturday of prayer ceremonies, an elaborate lunch and a tearful farewell to the bride by her parents.
Two days after former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai wed India’s most eligible bachelor Abhishek Bachchan in a flamboyant ceremony dubbed the “wedding of the century” by the Indian media, the couple flew to a temple town in southern India on 22 April.
Television channels were flooded with images of the couple, both sets of parents and several close friends and relatives entering the famous Tirumala temple in Tirupati, in southern Andhra Pradesh state.
Rai, 33, was dressed in a red and gold traditional silk sari and wore a “mangalsutra,” a necklace of black and gold beads, and “sindoor,” or red vermillion powder in the parting of her hair. Both are considered auspicious for Hindu married women.
Her new husband, 31-year-old Bachchan, wore a white “kurta-pajama,” a loose tunic with baggy pants.
At the temple, crowds of fans, media photographers and reporters jostled for space as private security and policemen created a protective ring around the couple and their entourage.
There were reports that a photographer sustained minor injuries after a scuffle with security staff on Saturday, and the groom’s father, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, apologized to photographers on 22 April.
“I apologize for the inconvenience caused,” he told reporters in a brief appearance. “The wedding was meant to be a private affair.”
Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan began life as “Mr and Mrs Bachchan” on 21 April after three days of wedding celebrations for Indian cinema’s ultimate power couple.
Nicknamed “Abhiash,” the pair has been dubbed by the media as India’s answer to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s “Brangelina” partnership. The media said the pairing of the emerald-eyed former Miss World and the son of veteran Indian screen legend Amitabh Bachchan had created Bollywood’s “ultimate power couple.”
Police had to use batons to control the crowd, who broke through barriers and climbed trees on 20 April to try to catch a glimpse of the couple.
Movie-crazy Indians have been feasting on details of the couple’s wedding in which Rai, 33, wore a red sari for the traditional Hindu ceremony, while the 32-year-old groom sported a ceremonial turban and gold-embroidered, cream-coloured sherwani coat.
The ceremony kicked off at the auspicious hour of 6:13 pm on Friday with an exchange of garlands. Astrologers pored over the couple’s star charts to determine the ideal time for the wedding.Eleven priests chanted mantras and the couple walked around a sacred fire seven times to complete their marriage.
Billed as the “Wedding of the Year” by the media, the event was kept relatively low key out of deference to the bridegroom’s grandmother, who is unwell in hospital.
Unlike usual Indian weddings where the guest list can run into thousands, the ceremony was restricted to around 100 close family and friends such as industrialist Anil Ambani, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and some of the top Bollywood entertainment names including stars Sanjay Dutt and Preity Zinta.
A huge security operation was deployed to keep out the media and prevent fans gate-crashing.The only controversy came away from the festivities, when a “mentally disturbed,” small-time Bollywood actress attempted suicide by slitting her wrists ahead of the wedding, police said.
In a scene reminiscent of a melodramatic Bollywood plot, a distraught Jhanvi Kapoor claimed that she had had “physical relations” with Abhishek and that he had promised to marry her.
The couple who have starred together in at least five movies and are seen as a dynamite box office duo were reportedly planning to visit a temple on 21 April to bless their marriage.
Family spokesmen were keeping mum on where the couple would honeymoon but one newspaper said they would spend a month in Venice.
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First Published: Mon, Apr 23 2007. 08 20 PM IST